What is the Haiku for Life series?
Haiku for Life is a series of gift books of haiku published by Basho Press, LLC, formed in 2007. Each title is aimed at a different readership based on occupations, pastimes, foods, lifestyles, holidays and such. The 100 poems in each book are described as being "witty, insightful, inspiring, and sometimes just plain weird." The occasional poem may be serious or even profound, but most are aimed at the funny bone.
What Haiku for Life titles are available? What titles are coming soon?
Click here to see our complete line and news about future titles.
Is this a series of religious books or books with a religious point of view?
No. Haiku for Catholics was a transition for Ash as he left working for the Catholic Church and began publishing. The other books in the series have a decidedly secular focus.
How can I order one or more Haiku for Life books?
Books can be ordered online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Click Here to choose an online vendor. Bookstores can order through the wholesaler Partners/West in Renton, Washington. Call them at (425) 227-8486.
Are discounts for bulk purchases of books available?
Discounts are available for bulk purchases ordered directly from Basho Press to practically any business, group, or individual. Details can be found at the Store page. Bookstores may also take advantage of these discounts, but may prefer to deal directly with Partners West or another wholesaler for reasons of convenience.
What was the idea behind the Haiku for Life series?
Ash discovered David Bader's delightful Haikus for Jews in 2001. A few months later on two cross-country plane flights, faced with hours of nothing to do or read, he decided to write haiku about his experience in the Catholic Church. By the time the last plane landed, the first 100 haiku were written. Ash shared them with his family and friends, but otherwise put them on a shelf. Future trips and vacations over the years found him writing coffee haiku in coffeehouses, or Alaskan haiku on a three-week trip to that state. Each attempt at haiku was focused more on what he was doing or where he was than general poems about nature or experience. Finally realizing that there were a number of titles on the market of "targeted" haiku, but no series by one poet or company, Ash decided to make one. As the Chicken Soup series is for inspirational books or the Dummies series is for instructional books, Ash hopes to make the Haiku for Life series the first choice for people looking for humorous gift books to give to family and friends. He hopes to do for haiku what Hallmark has done for couplets and quatrains.
Are all Haiku for Life books by David Ash?
So far. Ash aims to grow the series to the point where he will take submissions of haiku from many other poets and will edit each collection. At present, no haiku submissions are being accepted or encouraged.
Does David Ash write any literary haiku?
Ash appreciates the great literary haiku tradition and is a member of the Haiku Society of America. He has attended workshops though HSA conferences as well as at writers' conferences given by HSA members. Ash dabbles in literary haiku on a personal level and wishes to get better at it. But when it comes to his humor books, he says, "my frog is hopping in a different pond." He includes information in the forward of each book about some of the conventions of literary haiku and shows readers where to go for more information on the poetic form.
Are any other works by David Ash published?
The Haiku for Life series are Ash's first books. He and his wife Laura have self-produced three albums of liturgical music and have a couple songs published through Oregon Catholic Press (www.ocp.org). Details on the couple's music can be found at their www.Sing2God.com web site.
Are these books appropriate for children?
Haiku writing is often introduced to elementary school children, sometimes as early as third grade. While some classical Japanese haiku are risque or have an erotic focus, these are obviously not introduced to young students at school. Haiku for Life books do not have eroticism as a focus. However, each book does have the occasional double entendre. The books are aimed at an adult market and might make appropriate gifts for some high school students. One could certainly read many poems from each book to young children to show them examples of haiku writing as appropriate.
Are all the haiku original?
Yes, in the sense that none of Ash's haiku have been published before. He is not trying to copy, modify, or translate other poets' haiku. However, occasional poems in one book may appear in whole or in part in other Haiku for Life books. For example, a haiku about priests playing poker appears in both Haiku for Catholics and Haiku for Poker Players. Other haiku may change one or more words to be appropriate for two titles.
How is David Ash able to cover such a wide range of subjects in his haiku?
Where experience fails, research takes over! Besides searching websites and glossaries for accuracy in a particular area, Ash passes each book by a selected group of one to two dozen "guest editors", people with expertise or interest in that area. So casino dealers have reviewed Haiku for Poker Players and baristas have looked over Haiku for Coffee Lovers to make sure that terms are being used properly and that there are jokes that will appeal to folks in the know as well as the general public. This reduces errors and broadens the appeal of the books. As the series grows, haiku submissions from other poets will widen the experience in future fields.
Is David Ash available for haiku workshops, readings and singings?
Ash would like to make himself as available as possible to help promote haiku writing and sales of the Haiku for Life series of books. His available time and expertise at teaching haiku would be more geared to a single introductory writing class than it would to a series of classes. He can gear the teaching to the average age, size and experience of the group with sufficient advance notice. Readings and signing may depend on time and financially constraints. Call Basho Press at (206) 200-9525 for more information.